NEW YORK — Mills from around the world will bring their wares to Manhattan next week to several trade shows, where they will offer a variety of new fashion and performance ideas for the spring 2005 season.
But recognizing the continuing trend of buyers working closer to season, executives from Asia and Europe said their stands will also be well-stocked with immediate merchandise for fall deliveries.
“People are needing more and more to have fabrics that are readily available for short lead times. There’s an expectation in the market that ‘I’ll give you an order and I want it tomorrow,’” exaggerated Effie Zadok, vice president of sales at Guney-Polgat, which operates mills in Turkey and Israel. “Once we have a customer that is giving us a program with a projection, we work to shorten the lead times to acquire faster deliveries. It’s all a matter of working with the customer and understanding their needs.”
Guney-Polgat will be among the exhibitors at the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition, organized by Turkish promotions group ITKIB and set to run Jan. 20-21 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at East 42nd Street and Grand Central Station.
The Turkish event is part of a suite of foreign fabric shows, which will also include Innovation Asia, organized by lyocell maker Tencel and held Jan. 20-22 at Amuse at 110 West 18th Street; European Preview, an advance sampling of the Première Vision show in Paris, running Jan. 21-22 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street, and the Pan Textiles show, put on by the Taiwan Textile Federation, which runs Jan. 21-22 at the Manhattan Center/Hammerstein Ballroom at 311 West 34th Street.
At the Istanbul-based mill Holsa Inc.’s Yünsa division, the watchwords for the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition will be “care-free washable wool fabrics and blends,” according to Michael Herzon, director of women’s wear at the company’s New York office.
“I hate to say it’s a gimmick, but it’s something new,” he said. “People don’t want to pay for the dry cleaning, or even if they still go it’s something else they know they can do…We travel a lot now, and it’s nice to know when you’re travelling that you have something wrinkle-resistant, so you don’t have to deal with pressing and all that.”
In addition to washable fabrics in wool, as well as blends of wool with polyester and wool with spandex, the company also offers fabrics with DuPont’s Teflon stain-resistant coating, another performance feature, Herzon said. He added that the company is also seeking to develop a washable blend of cotton, wool and spandex.
While the market is intended to focus on spring 2005 goods, Herzon said its early timing likely means that few buyers will be ready to commit to decisions on that season, and many will still likely be looking at fall 2004 merchandise, which Yünsa will also be showing.
“They’re going to be shopping, just browsing,” he said. “It’s still early and except for the big major players in the market, most people aren’t really committed on fall yet.”
Gera Gallico, president of Billon USA Inc., a division of Billon Freres, which is based in Lyon, France, and will show at European Preview, noted, “The deco trend is carrying over. It’s showing up in our prints, in our jacquards, our laces.”
Shine is another trend that will be important throughout the firm’s collection.
The company, which has a knitting mill as well as a plant that produces prints using wet and heat transfer printing is also showing “an animal print for the tribal effect,” said Gallico.
“Geometric seems to be getting a lot of attention, they seem very clear and flat, that too runs throughout all of the various technologies we carry,” he said.
While spring 2005 is the thrust of what Billon will be showing, “We will also have the previous fall collection on hand because you never know,” noted Gallico, adding that some customers are on very late schedules while other are running very early.
Ed Harding, sales agent for several European textile factories and president of Barn Hill Co., said he is still working on selling fall merchandise, for which he has been doing a lot of sampling.
While customers are attempting to buy ever closer to need, he noted, “You can’t wait too long. I would hope that by the middle of January and February I would be getting fall bulk orders.”
Spring 2005, though, will be the order of the day at European Preview for Harding, who has yet to see his lines for the show.
Zadok said Guney-Polgat, will be showing off some softer, more luxurious fabrics, which are a benefit of some recently acquired machinery.
“In general, the standards are getting higher always and people are more demanding and the price is becoming more of an issue now,” he said.
The firm’s spring and summer 2005 collections, which it will display at the show, include cotton stretch fabrics in yarn dyed, striped and plaid variations, as well as some with weaving effects. The company will also show a group of cotton-linen blends.
The I-Textile show, produced by the Italian Trade Commission, was scheduled, but then canceled.
Rossana Ciraolo, fashion director at the ITC, noted, “At the moment, we are rethinking our strategy for the textile sector.”
Since the show was just held in October the interval between shows seemed too short, she said, adding, “We decided to skip this season and work directly on the new one.” Just when that will be remains to be seen, though.
The ITC is deciding whether it wants to hold its show before or after the European collections. So far, Ciraolo said organizers are leaning toward a time slot before collections with shows in January and July.